Breastfeeding On the Go

August 12, 2015

This post is sponsored by Itzy Ritzy.

Breastfeeding on the go is tricky the first few times, but Lucy and I have been working on our nursing-in-public skills and we’re getting the hang of it!

itzy ritzy infinity nursing scarf 1

A great nursing cover hard to find (I’ve tried three different kinds!) but I love this chevron one from Itzy Ritzy at Target. The infinity shape is long enough to cover you and baby without being uncomfortably tight and the fabric is sturdy enough to be moved around and stay where you put it, for easy covering yourself and viewing baby! They have more colors, too!

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We went to a friends house for dinner a few nights ago and I was able to nurse on their cute back porch, on the sofa and at the dinner table because this scarf was so easy! It can even double as a burp cloth when you’re done so you don’t get spit up on your clothes! Oh wait, you probably already have spit up on your clothes, right? ;)

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In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, Itzy Ritzy is giving away an Itzy Ritzy Infinity Nursing Scarf, in Grey Chevron, and a $50 Target gift card! Head over to Instagram to enter! Good luck!

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Why I Wanted A Natural Birth

August 11, 2015

After two months of being Lucy’s mom, reflecting on my pregnancy, thinking back on our natural birth experience, and hearing lot of friends ask me, “why on earth would you do that?!” I’ve come to an interesting answer: I still don’t know why. What I do know is this: I wanted a natural birth more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. It was a deep and very emotional desire. I can also say with confidence that I have zero judgement for the way any woman chooses to birth. It is an intense and life-altering experience and I would never judge another woman’s decision or path during labor, just as I hope people don’t brush me off as a crazy hippie. ;)

Katie Oblinger Photography

While I can’t answer the question of “why” with an easy, one-liner, I do have a few thoughts about how I became so emotionally attached to a natural birth…

My body was beautifully created by God to bring life into this world. I wanted to allow my body to do what it was meant to do.

I was afraid. This one might not make much sense, but I felt more confident facing my fears of childbirth naturally than with medication.

Depression. Rational or not, I was afraid the mix of medication and synthetic hormones would significantly affect my body’s natural postpartum rhythm, enough to cause a bout of depression. I was afraid being depressed during those precious days immediately after birth would alter my perception of new motherhood and negatively affect bonding with my sweet baby. I wanted to do everything in my power to clear my mind and prepare to welcome my baby into this world.

I wanted to feel it. When I first started telling people I was pregnant, I got a lot of wonderful congratulations and all the stereotypical questions people ask a newly pregnant woman – questions she likely doesn’t know the answer to yet. Chatting with one woman in particular, I mentioned that I was interested in a natural birth. She was surprised and gave me the whole run down of why I didn’t want a natural birth. When she finally paused to ask me why, I answered sheepishly, “I don’t know, I just want to feel it.” She laughed. One of those I’m-looking-down-on-you-laughs that makes you feel completely embarrassed for whatever foolishness just came out of your mouth. I decided that day I would find better words to describe why I wanted a natural birth. I worried if I couldn’t answer the question confidently, maybe I couldn’t tackle the real thing. I tried, unsuccessfully, for the next six months to find those words. Toward the end of my pregnancy, when asked about natural birth, despite my efforts to find a confident, eloquent answer, I went back to my initial, instinctive description: I wanted to feel it.

And I suppose my that’s my one-liner now: I wanted to feel it. And you know what? It felt great.

Photo by Katie Oblinger Photography

Read Lucy’s Birth Story here.

Two Months with Lucy

August 6, 2015

Miss Lucygirl is 2 months old! I can hardly believe we already have a 2 month old. She’s growing so much, it feels like I can see her grow right in front of my eyes. She’s starting to get some deliciously chunky baby rolls and graduate out of her newborn onesies. It looks like she’s going to be tall like her daddy! Lucy is a smiling machine and she’s stealing our hearts on a daily basis.

Lucy Curtis, 2 Months

Development: Lucy has been a smiling machine over the past month. It started with our morning routine, she was the smiliest in the morning and over the past few days she’s added mid-day and afternoon smile sessions to our playtimes. Speaking of playtime, we’re working on tummy time, looking at shapes and toys and listening to music. I’m constantly learning about what she needs for proper development – sounds, patterns, conversation, smells, comfort and so much more.

Lucy Curtis, 2 Months

Daytime: Lucy’s got us on a great little baby-led routine, her morning naps are still the best and most consistent nap of the day. Her lunchtime nap is pretty good and the afternoons are a gamble. I usually wear her in the afternoons to keep her close and happy and I can still have 2 hands free to fold laundry or get dinner started. Most days she does have a little fussy spurt around dinner time. Some days are worse than others and some days I handle it better than others, but we always snuggle and work through it together. This month I learned a few tricks about naptime and helping Lucy fall asleep when she gets tired. In the first few weeks, I assumed crying after nursing was a tummy-ache cry, but it’s not always. I learned that she’s not a sleepy newborn anymore who can’t help but fall asleep constantly, she’s developing wake-sleep cycles. Sometimes she’s been awake and alert for an hour or more and when she’s ready to take a nap she needs a little help. I quiet down and grab her blanket or swaddle, grab the pacifier if she’s cranky. We sway or rock or otherwise sooth and she’s able to fall asleep. It’s fascinating how overstimulation, sleep-wake cycles and her own little rhythm work together.

Nighttime: Lucy’s made so much progress with nighttime sleep just over the past couple weeks! Right now, she’s pretty consistent with wanting to eat between 7-8pm, again between 10-11pm (mommy & daddy’s cue to head to bed), and then she sleeps until 3-4am. She stays pretty sleepy during that 3-4am feeding, only opening her eyes a few times, so we nurse for a bit and she drifts back to sleep peacefully. Her morning waketimes are always different, anywhere from 6-8am, and then we get our day started! (This will be tricky as I head back to work in a week…)

Lucy Curtis, 2 Months

Breastfeeding: We’re doing great! Physically, I’m glad to say that the discomfort of those first 3 or 4 weeks is gone. When we hit 4 or 5 weeks, Lucy and I hit our nursing groove. Emotionally, breastfeeding is such a powerful experience. It’s such a good feeling to know that I can nourish and comfort my child, to hear her cries quiet and feel her body calm as she nuzzles into me.

Lucy Curtis, 2 Months

Behind the scenes assistance from my sweet mama, trying to get Miss Lucy to smile for the camera! :)

Hand lettering by Jenn Gietzen, Write On! Design